Context and Overview
Second grade students are expected to know about different types of rocks to meet the science standards in my state. Today, to build this content knowledge students will be viewing a video and analyzing an informational text on sedimentary rock.
Before we embark on building content knowledge, I am taking a moment to have the students reflect on the types of questions they have been asking by sorting them.
An important word to understanding sedimentary rock is the word particles. We will spend time looking at what the word is and what it is not. I will give students the opportunity to write briefly what they think the word particles means after seeing all the context clues.
Then we will move on to watching a video on sedimentary rock where students will be gather key details.
Next students will sit on the carpet to read an informational sheet on sedimentary rock. I will have students notice various features of the page and focus on a diagram that explains how sedimentary rock is formed.
Finally, students will get the opportunity to integrate their learning as they reflect in writing what they learned about sedimentary rock.
From the rug, I share the student friendly objective, "I can ask and answer questions to understand key details about an informational text."
I let them know that, before we venture into learning about sedimentary rock, I am giving time to look over some of the questions they have in their journals and to sort them to evaluate the types of questions they have been asking.
Students sit at their desks with their science journals. We have been in the process of asking many questions about rocks, fossils, and soil; and I want to give them opportunity to reflect about the type of questions they have been asking.
To do this, I have given them a blank piece of paper folded in eighths. They will title the rectangles with the words: who, what, when, where, why, and how. As they flip through their science journals where they have listed the questions, they will copy the questions on to the page. Once they are done, I am going to be asking them to evaluate their questions and to pay attention to whether they are mostly asking thin, or thick questions.
I have taught my students the concept of thin and thick. Thin questions are questions where the answers are very visible. Thick questions require deeper thinking. I have a chart with a picture of a hamburger to help students visualize thin, and a picture of a big mac to visualize a thick question.
Here are two examples:
I am sitting my students back on the rug. I will create a Semantic Map to help them understand the word particles. A semantic map is a visual tool to help the students see relationships/connections. In this case, I want to draw attention to the meaning of particles and the different ways particles can be represented. This is tremendously important for English Language Learners because of the limited vocabulary experiences.
I have divided the chart into four quadrants to make this particular semantic map. On one side, the word, Examples, is written and on the other side, Non-examples. I use this words to bridge the concept of synonyms and antonyms for my students later on. In the middle of this chart, I have written the word particles.
How am I proceeding with teaching the word? I have gathered various pictures. There are pictures to show examples and non-examples of particles. These photos serve as context clues to help my students define the word in their own terms.
During their writing time, my students are going to have the opportunity to define the word in their own words.
I am using technology to build their content knowledge. The students are viewing a video on sedimentary rock to integrate with their understanding of fossils (a large amount of fossils is found in sedimentary rock).
As they watch this two minute plus video, they will be taking notes. I have created a template on sedimentary rock with text dependent questions to help guide them towards finding the key details. During this time, the students are practicing listening skills as well as acquiring academic vocabulary: particles is a word that can be used across the curriculum.
I guide my students in this process, by pausing the video at certain points to give them the opportunity to write down their notes. Here are examples of their notes:
Later on they will use these notes to write about what they are learning about sedimentary rock. I make sure to make this process as interactive as possible to foster language skills. Thus, sometimes I ask students to find the keys words that are important in understanding the concept we are learning. I have a student underline the word sediment. He is the type of student who needs to get up and I make allowance for this. I take this moment to continue the discussion about our topic too.
It is important to note that because this content is very rich, I am only doing the first page of questions with the students. The second part will be done tomorrow. I feel it is easy to figure out where to stop the video given the last question on the first page, but how much time is spent on a task is dependent on the type of students that make up our class.
Here is the link and the video:
A shift with the CCSS is for students to value evidence. Today, they are gathering evidence from different sources. To give my students another opportunity to read about sedimentary rock and to understand the word particles, I am gathering students on the rug to read an informational text together. We are sitting in a circle. Every student has a copy of the handout. This sheet comes from the book, Sedimentary Rock, by Rebecca Faulkner.
Part of what I have done to compensate in not having enough informational material for my students is visit the local libraries. While it does take time, it cuts down on the expenses. I am using photocopies of pages 16-17 as a handout because these pages have a great diagram of how sedimentary rock forms. The visuals help my students clearly understand how particles are packed to make sedimentary rock.
We are are sharing responsibility in the reading. I am asking them to spot the text feature: diagram. We will have a discussion about what the diagram is teaching us. But first, I ask them to browse the sheet before diving into the reading. It allows them to get a holistic view of the information. I like to engage my students in discussion about their observations:
Since the student are deciphering the diagram, I read the other text to keep the flow moving and to make sure the students do not become overwhelmed with the information. In doing so, I am able to quickly highlight certain information. Additionally, I am asking them to take notice of the other text features on the page. While I do this briefly, I do it because I am always seeking to make my students aware of how informational text functions.
Now, students are taking the time to define the word particles and to write about what they have learned about sedimentary rock. They are using the notes from the video and the information from the pages 16-17 from the book, Sedimentary Rock.
It will be interesting to see which resource they use to write. I am not requiring them to use both. They have the choice.
As they write, I will pay attention to how the students are defining the word particles, and I am curious to read and hear what they have learned about sedimentary rock. This student volunteers her thoughts on the meaning of particles. As for another student, particle means tiny.
I give my students support with spelling words, reading, and offering help with writing the sentences.
Here are some examples of their writing: